...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

you can call me Mike

Michael-- Bolton? The consultant in the movie Office Space, Bob Slydell, really liked the whole idea of Bolton the singer, but he and his chum (the other Bob) had no time for the real employee by that name. They moronically asked "Any relation to the singer by that name?"

I recently heard a good sermon that brought up the question of how names can bless or curse. The example was about nick names, but in the movie, the poor computer programmer had to explain to everyone that he was not Michael Bolton the singer.

Our tagged names, whether they are our choice or not, never really fit us. Like David being told to use Saul's armor, not only do the labels limit us, but they can do serious harm. Thus, David had to discard even the warrior King's own armor to duel the giant. He had to go with his own strengths, the quickness and stealth of the hunt. Playing a size game with the behemoth would have meant the end for David.

There are too many books out there on leadership, written by the big folks, the heavy hitters. They usually offer principles for success, laws to follow, blueprints and maps for all the little Davids out there. Some of the audience may not know all that armor just doesn't fit. Some do, but still try it out, hoping they will be better liked by themselves or others.

Yes, a pastor needs to comfortable in their own skin, but it won't happen if the leader doesn't (1)know or (2) like who they are. And who we are is not our role or status, but it begins with a gift we receive on the inside. Because it's there that the image of God is alive and it's there that we are truly God- blessed and named "Very good!" All the best-selling guidelines and outlines and equations in the world cannot give us what God's love and grace gives us. It's that which we bring to any intervention, pastoral or otherwise. And that's the pearl of great price- for us, and anyone with whom we share our life.

1 Jo 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us . 1 Jo 4:16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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